myself a trust in you so deep, deeper than I'd ever imagined


Finally a computer operator in his forties said: "You have

been such a wonderful mirror for me, and you show me two

things: the relative aspect of who I am, and the absolute

aspect of who I am. I can look at you and see—not because

of who you are but because of what you are mirroring back

to me—all of my relative confusion, very clearly. But I can also

look at you and I can see, reflected in you, the nature of mind,

out of which everything is arising, moment by moment."

These replies show us that true teachers are kind, compassionate,

and tireless in their desire to share whatever wisdom

they have acquired from their masters, never abuse or manipulate

their students under any circumstances, never under any

circumstances abandon them, serve not their own ends but

the greatness of the teachings, and always remain humble.

Real trust can and should only grow toward someone who

you come to know, over time, embodies all these qualities.

You will find that this trust becomes the ground of your life,

there to support you through all the difficulties of life and


In Buddhism we establish whether a teacher is authentic by

whether or not the guidance he or she is giving accords with

the teaching of Buddha. It cannot be stressed too often that it

is the truth of the teaching which is all-important, and never the

personality of the teacher. This is why Buddha reminded us in

the "Four Reliances":

Rely on the message of the teacher, not on his personality;

Rely on the meaning, not just on the words;

Rely on the real meaning, not on the provisional one;

Rely on your wisdom mind, not on your ordinary, judgmental


So it is important to remember that the true teacher, as we

shall see, is the spokesperson of the truth: its compassionate

"wisdom display." All the buddhas, masters, and prophets, in

fact, are the emanations of this truth, appearing in countless

skillful, compassionate guises in order to guide us, through

their teaching, back to our true nature. At first, then, more

important than finding the teacher is finding and following the

truth of the teaching, for it is through making a connection

with the truth of the teaching that you will discover your living

connection with a master.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines